Self Monitoring & Self Awareness
Self-quantification is the practice of keeping track of oneself with the goal of increasing one's self-awareness.
Tracking oneself is the art of self-quantification. With the goal of enhancing self-sensing, self-awareness, and human performance using personal data, we frequently use the term to refer to people who adore their fitness trackers. Self-quantification is not a new phenomenon, but this kind of technology has made self-tracking simpler.
At the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin was keeping track of the thirteen habits he believed were essential for leading a good life in 1726. He listed qualities like thriftiness, resoluteness, cleanliness, and industry.
Self-tracking is important for knowing oneself, which is one of its benefits. Are you unsure of why you can't say no to a piece of chocolate cake or a cigarette? Are you unsure of why some of your partner's small actions irritate you? Are you unsure of why you lack the motivation to work towards your next major objective?
Self-tracking can help you solve these puzzles and gain a clearer understanding of who you are, which will give you the power to change.
In this article, we'll examine the precise reasons why self-tracking is so crucial to self-awareness. We'll also discuss the types of information you should keep track of about yourself and why.
How does one truly come to know oneself?
A common misconception is that self-awareness comes naturally to everyone. In actuality, however, most of us are unaware of our true motivations. Although we can observe our behaviours and emotional reactions in action, we are generally unaware of the underlying factors that lead to these behaviours and reactions.
The secret to self-awareness is in understanding the hidden triggers and motivations that are at work. Once we achieve this, we are better able to manage our interpersonal interactions and self-control.
The advice to spend time alone with your thoughts and keep a journal to reflect on your experiences is frequently given to people who want to know themselves better. These are a fantastic place to start, but they are insufficient.
Humans are prone to telling themselves lies, so why not?
Numerous studies have been carried out where participants were observed for a predetermined amount of time and then asked to self-report their actions.
The person's description of what they did is frequently completely inconsistent with what the researcher saw.
Self-reporting is extremely difficult for humans to do. This is not a result of dishonesty. Instead, we frequently remember events differently from how they actually were because of how we expected or wished they had been.
Additionally, how we remember what happened can be significantly altered by our state of mind at the time of reporting. If we are feeling good, we can focus on those aspects and ignore some of the challenges we face. Our memories have a darker tone when we are depressed.
This means that what we imagine in our minds do not always match reality when we are self-reflecting, perhaps on how we performed at work this week or whether we adhered to a healthy diet.
Self-awareness is a difficult task, but by understanding the covert triggers and motivations, we can better manage it
We can recall our actions more precisely and gain a clearer understanding of ourselves with the aid of self-tracking. This is due to the fact that we have hard data in front of us that is difficult to dispute rather than relying on memories.
If your fitness tracker indicates that you only went to the gym once and moved less than 5,000 steps per day throughout the week, you cannot tell yourself that you have been engaging in healthy movement.
You can't convince yourself that you had a productive week at work if your productivity tracker shows that you spent 10% of your workweek on significant creative tasks and 90% of your workweek responding to emails and attending meetings.
Similar to this, if your goal tracker shows that you were able to practise for an hour every day this week, you can't tell yourself that you haven't made any progress and that you will never be able to play the guitar.
Self-tracking can help us delve deeply into ourselves and gain a better understanding of the intricate interplay of factors that are affecting us, in addition to keeping us honest and accountable.
Consider a person who is trying to lose weight as an example. They are keeping a thorough food journal so they can honestly claim to follow a healthy diet during the week while occasionally indulging in a cheat meal on the weekend. They may weigh less when they wake up on Mondays, but despite eating well throughout the week, they appear to gain weight.
They must expand their self-tracking to include other factors that have an impact on their physical health in order to become more self-aware of what is happening. This goes beyond keeping a food diary and monitoring weight changes. Additionally, they ought to consider their BMI (which measures changes in the proportions of fat and muscle), their exercise and sleep schedules, their stress levels, any potentially important factors like medications they may be taking, and perhaps even their day-to-day mood and energy levels.
Our dieter will be able to observe that, despite eating healthier during the week, they also experience poor sleep and a significant amount of stress from their jobs thanks to this larger data set. This can help them realise that their weight problems may have less to do with diet and more to do with stress, which is probably also affecting their sleep.
This in-depth information might reveal to our dieter that their afternoon chocolate cravings are more intense after a lunch high in carbohydrates, suggesting that a glucose crash rather than late-afternoon stress as they had initially believed is to blame.
With the aid of "big data," our dieter will be better able to identify the unspoken motivators and triggers that have a significant influence on their behaviour. With this knowledge, they will be better equipped to maintain self-control and effect the desired changes.
While the benefits of self-tracking and having this extensive database of information about yourself may seem obvious, the challenge is deciding what to track. Otherwise, you wouldn't have time to do anything else; you can't track everything, right?
While there are many different schools of thought, we believe that keeping track of your financial situation, time management, habits, and goals is the best advice.
Everything in our lives can be greatly influenced by how we physically feel.
We lack the capacity to concentrate on the important things when we are feeling exhausted. Weight, BMI, exercise, diet, sleep, and daily body satisfaction should all be included in a thorough physical health tracking system.
Fortunately, tracking one's physical health is one of the simplest things to do, and the fitness tracker market is very developed. There are a ton of options that pair an activity and sleep tracker with a practical app where you can quickly and easily record everything else.
Emotional and Mental Health
Another way to say "how we feel inside ourselves" is with this expression. It can be extremely difficult to function in the other areas of our lives when we're depressed or stressed out, which has a negative impact on our physical health. Positive and good feelings cause good things to occur, which is another fact.
To monitor this type of wellbeing you should be tracking your stress level, mood, significant emotional events, medications, and how they make you feel, and so forth. The simplest way to do this is with a calendar or app that allows you to code your mood on a daily basis or more frequently if that feels more appropriate for you.
Our ability to provide for our needs, such as a place to live, as well as reduce stress can have a significant impact on our quality of life, making it crucial that we manage our finances well.
To free up more money in our budgets, we frequently need to change the way we spend. Direct debits, small contactless payments, and impulsive purchases make it simple to lose track of where your money is going, though. But once more, there are a lot of programs available that enable you to monitor and categorise every dollar as you spend it and then determine exactly where your money is going.
This is a common excuse, but the truth is, people always find the time when it is something they really want to do, like watch the most recent episode of their favourite series on Netflix.
You can better understand how much time you have and how it might be spent if you keep track of how you spend it. It can also point out areas where you are wasting time and could benefit from task delegation.
You might also find better ways to manage your time if you match up when you complete tasks with how productive or motivated you feel at different times of the day. Are you, for instance, wasting the day's most creative and productive hours by responding to emails?
Time management increases productivity and creativity.
It is estimated that between 40 and 90 percent of what we do each day is habitual; we carry it out automatically without giving it a second thought. Most of the time, we don't even fully comprehend what we are doing until the action is almost complete. This is a fantastic evolutionary benefit that enables us to automate routine tasks so that we have more bandwidth to handle the more challenging issues.
Although routines can be beneficial, they can also be harmful. They can also be challenging to break because we perform them automatically and unconsciously. One of the most fundamental ways to change our lives, however, is to alter our habits. They claim that losing weight requires changing every aspect of your life to accommodate the new you, not just going on a diet. Change your habit, in other words.
If you have a habit that you'd like to break, keep track of not only when you do it but also where you are and what you are doing. You can determine what is motivating your habits by using this information in conjunction with all the other data you are gathering about yourself.
Last but not least, tracking your progress is important if you are working towards a specific objective. As a result, you can adjust your strategy and make more informed progress toward your objectives. This can help you stay motivated and help you figure out what is and isn't working.
There is probably a lot of overlap with what you are already tracking, but what you need to track for your goals depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Creating a meditation routine might be your aim. This will be impacted by everything you track regarding your physical and mental health as well as how you spend your time.
But if you also want to increase your daily meditation time from five minutes to an hour, you should keep track of your daily progress as well as any other factors that might affect how long you can stay in a relaxed state of mind. Is it physical pain, a certain stressor, or domestic distractions that are keeping you from moving forward?
By combining all of this data, you will have the big data you need to create the most effective plan for reaching your objective as soon as possible.
Join the self-tracking revolution if you genuinely desire to gain a deeper understanding of who you are and the kind of self-awareness that will enable you to take charge of your life. Self-tracking not only helps us remain truthful when we reflect on our own behavior, but it can also make it easier for us to spot unanticipated factors that may be affecting our health, happiness, and results.
Businesses have long discussed how big data can be used to improve their mission statements and strategies and achieve success. Through self-tracking, you can apply this same power to your own life.
With Chivvy, a data-driven habit tracker that helps you create, remember, and analyse your habits, you can start getting to know yourself better.